That's it. You can spend 300k SP the same way regardless of Career choice. You can pilot any ship regardless of Career choice. You can fill out your BOFF layout the same way regardless of Career choice (though you may have to find a friend/stranger to train certain abilities). That's fact. There's no getting around that - that's what it is. Simple and straightforward, right?
Now for some commentary, eh?
Roles. What? Roles. What about them? Well, first there's the common PvE Trinity: Tank, Heals, and DPS. Doesn't really apply to PvP, though - "Tank" is an artificial role in the sense that it relies on artificial mechanics for the "tank" to hold aggro. Thank the powers that be, that doesn't exist in PvP here. You can placate to drop aggro, but you can't force somebody to target you or somebody else.
There's often the discussion of the 4th Role - which is usually a discussion of multiple other roles. The 4th for some is CC (Crowd Control). The 4th for some is the combination of buffers and debuffers. In many games, buffing/debuffing/CC/etc has been lumped in with the other roles in various ways.
You're bored already, eh?
No? Okay, so how about a look at how those five innate abilities fit into various roles? I'm going to go with DPS, Heals, Buffer, Debuffer, Crowd Control, and even Tank. Yes, I know I said Tank's not a role in PvP - but people still tank. Whether it's through mitigation, avoidance, or even if one looks at healing as a form of offsetting incoming damage - it's something that everybody's doing. I'll go in alphabetical order, even though I didn't list them that way here...hrmm.
Science: Sensor Scan, Subnucleonic Beam, Photonic Fleet*
Tactical: Fire on My Mark
Engineer: EPS Power Transfer, Nadion Inversion, Engineering Fleet
Science: Subnucleonic Beam, Photonic Fleet*
Tactical: Attack Pattern Alpha, Fire on My Mark, Tactical Initiative, Go Down Fighting, Tactical Fleet
Wait, some of those don't make any sense. In some cases, it's about thinking beyond the direct effect. Take SNB - by stripping buffs, you can not only increase the damage the enemy's taking but you can also reduce the damage you're taking. Tada, DPS and Tank. Isn't that redundant though? Shouldn't it just be Debuffer? Like I said, it's about thinking beyond just direct effect...thinking about what you get out of it. Like Photonic Fleet being listed under Tank - if one of your holopets is eating damage that you're not eating, that's damage that you've avoided. Some things, simply fall into multiple categories.
*Photonic Fleet...well, roll the dice, see what you get.
Obviously, even though certain abilities may fall under the same role - they're not of equal value. What you get out of EPS Power Transfer is nowhere near what you get out of Attack Pattern Alpha.
So looking at that, I don't think that anybody would argue that Tactical highly favors DPS. Science brings a bag of tricks that's very helpful for the team. Engineer...Engineer...
...is said to be the Healer. Why? It's not because they're better healers. The typical answer is their "tank" allows them to last longer as a healer than a Tac or a Sci.
RSF...subnuke it. NI...subnuke it. EPSPT...subnuke it.
Players aren't NPCs. NPCs are pretty stupid. You can shine in certain instances in PvE as an Engineer, simply because NPCs aren't going to do things to screw it up like players can and will. A 2 min CD on both RSF and EPS - 3 min on NI...vs 2 min CD on SNB. What about Phaser Procs or Subsystem Targeting?
Well, there's MW too. Not quite a case of having to kill them twice, but it's an "oh crap" button all the same. Offering no additional shield nor hull resistance - so depending on where they stand with CDs on BOFF abilities...those shields and the hull are just going to disappear again.
But yeah, that's where even if they have something on CD/etc - somebody will slap a heal on them...
...what's that? Crosshealing? Wait, Tac and Sci can heal? Well, yeah - cause the heals come from BOFF abilities. Remember, it's only the five innate abilities that separate the three career choices.
So wait, I could drop a Tac in a healboat and he could toss the same heals as the Eng could? I could drop a Sci in a healboat and he could do that too?
Aux to Structure, Extend Shields, Transfer Shield Strength, Hazard Emitters, Engineering Team, Science Team, and even with the way Tactical Team works... they don't care if it's an Eng, Tac, or Sci?
So wait, I could run a Tac instead of an Eng as a healer and get an additional Fire on My Mark, Tactical Initiative, and Tactical Fleet. Heck, if there's a target near death - the Tac healer if they're not healing could even pop APA to help finish the target off better than the Eng healer could.
So wait, I could run a Sci instead of an Eng as a healer and get an additional Sensor Scan, Subnucleonic Beam, Scattering Field, Photonic Fleet, and Science Fleet.
I'd be giving up...er...EPS Power Transfer and Engineering Fleet - and a guy having the ability to run RSF, NI, and MW on himself. Course, I already pointed out the issues with these.
Hrmmmm...so how is the Engineer the best healer again?
Well, putting a Sci or a Tac in a healboat is wasting their potential.
Well, it kind of looks like bringing an Eng is wasting a spot.
With crosshealing and what either the Sci healer or even the Tac healer would bring...how does that even begin to balance in favor of bringing the Eng?
I tried to make the point in that conversation that the Eng could shine in certain instances in PvE because NPCs are not Player - they're not as smart nor do they have access to the abilities players do. A strong case was made that the same benefits the Sci or Tac would have in PvP would also carry over to PvE as well.
This isn't a "buff" or "fix" Engineers post. I've posted my comments on that subject matter in multiple threads. Like I said, there just appeared to be some confusion out there - where people were linking ships and BOFFs to Engineers...when it's just the five innate abilities that separate the careers. There's also that common claim that Engineers make the best healers...which, personally, I just don't see based on the five abilities they have - their CDs and how they can be countered. That's before you even take into account the various options for crosshealing, what the other careers bring to a team, etc, etc, etc. Just because they're not better than something else than another career doesn't mean that they're best for healing. You've got the friend that rolled an Eng - you want to play with him - well, he can't really do anything else as well as a Sci or Tac could...so he can heal. That kind of sums it up, imho...